The life and times of Juan Manuel de Rosas, governor of Buenos Aires from 1829 to 1832 and from 1835 to 1852, have motivated many studies ever since. His conception of power and political legacy have aroused debate in Argentina among different schools of historical interpretation as well as animated discussion in the broader public sphere. The most recent publication concerning this historical legend is the biography cowritten by Jorge Gelman and Raúl Fradkin, two prestigious social historians who have made outstanding contributions in the field of nineteenth-century Argentine rural history. This is no doubt helpful for a study focused on a man who built his political power base in rural Buenos Aires province during Argentina's incipient and traumatic nation-building process. The book is also the first relevant biography of Rosas since John Lynch's Argentine Dictator: Juan Manuel de Rosas, 1829–52 (1981)....

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